With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

The Big Boss Caine Annual All Star Festive Fundraiser 2019 -The Fulford Arms, York – Friday 13th December 2019 December 22, 2019


The Big Boss Caine Annual All-Star Festive Fundraiser has traditionally been held at the now sadly demised Fibbers in York, but for 2019 and hopefully many years to come it has relocated to the rather fabulous Fulford Arms. A huge thank you to Dan Lucas for putting this on and to everyone at the Fulford Arms who worked tirelessly all night and of course to all the bands taking part. This is the first of these events that I have managed to get along to and I am so glad that I did. This year’s charity was Kitchen for Everyone, York. who provide an amazing service, feeding the homeless and vulnerable in York, and there was also a collection of food and clothing on the night for those in need locally, as part of We Shall Overcome. The total raised at the gig was £522 at handover though there I believe there will be more to add to that from poster sales and whatnot. There was also a Land Rover fully laden with clothes, sleeping bags, hats, gloves, socks, dried food, sanitary/bathroom products, and mucho love! Dan Lucas will be continuing to collect each week at Busk @ Dusk if you fancy getting down there on a Sunday night. The gig was the day after the damaging and disastrous UK General Election which gives Britain its most far-right government in history. I was feeling pretty low about that and I drank an awful lot of wine that night. So before I tell you about the show can I just say sorry to anyone that I might have bored the pants off/ annoyed/ never stopped talking to/ leaned on/ offended (delete as appropriate) and I really hope it wasn’t the latter!

PERCY

A massive shout and thanks to the extremely talented Kai West for producing such an incredible poster. I never got around to buying one of the limited edition copies on sale on the night, so if there are any left then I am still interested. Unfortunately the first of the six bands on the bill, French Exits, couldn’t make it. So the event was kicked off in great style by Percy. A York band that regular readers of With Just A Hint Of Mayhem will have noticed a few times before. They are a very left-field prog-punk combo. They are so different and ‘out there’ that they have the power to bring John Peel back to life; Percy would make an amazing collection of classic Peel sessions. The new songs that they showcased on the night are immense and bubble over with venom and anger, especially future classic tune in the making, “Will Of The People”. If you like Magazine, the Fall or even Half Man Half Biscuit you need to check Percy out. But comparisons aside Percy are very much original, so what the hell, check them out whoever you are a fan of they are well worth it! Also a big shout for Percy for being the first band of the evening to shout “Fuck The Tories”, they weren’t the last.

Cowgirl

Cowgirl, a great band that I saw for the first time back in January. If the Stooges had been fronted by Lou Reed and Jonathan Richman then Cowgirl would be the result. Their bluesy, riff-laden, psychedelic, feedback fuelled scuzzy garage rock is at times evocative of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Detroit Cobras. Bizarrely, maybe through some nicely utilised feedback, I was also taken back to 1974 and the first time that I ever heard David Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’ album via a late-night end to end playthrough on John Peel’s show a week before it’s release. Listening to that in the dark on headphones scared the shit out of me. I believe that Cowgirl might have the same effect in a darkened room. Someone needs to give them the opportunity to soundtrack a British horror film along the lines of ‘Eden Lake’.

Snakerattlers

The Snakerattlers have had a great year; an exhilarating new album, ‘All Heads Will Roll’ and this was their 71st gig of the year. They are now a live force to be reckoned with, a truly amazing live band. Dan’s stage presence is spot on and how the fuck does Naomi make so much noise from such a small drum kit? Their towering psychobilly based sound is ecstatic and energising. The now expected crowd incursions from singer-guitarist Dan Gott are special, not just for his Dick Dalesque guitar work but for his expert gurning and an evil stare that would fit neatly into the British Horror film that I want Cowgirl to soundtrack. Stuck for a Christmas present for your Gran? Get here the Snakerattlers album, it will keep her alive for many more years!

Nosedivers

After more than 20 years one of York’s finest punk bands is back together. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am talking about the Nosedivers. They come on like the snotty young brothers of the Clash with the swagger and poise of the Ramones. Dan Lucas’ vocals are rich, deep and sharp and very different from his Boss Caine work. The Nosedivers energy is off the scale and their anger is channeled into some fiery political comment. Changing the chorus of one song rather cleverly and topically to “Fuck the Tories”. The mountainous riffs and piledriving songs are carved from a punk mountain, on the scale of Mount Olympus but built from pure punk vibes. We need this band to stick around a while longer and I hope that they do. But even if they don’t it was a major blast having them back even for a short while.

Bull

The headliners and the perfect band to close this scintillating salmagundi of a gig was York’s very own Bull. If you know this band you will bloody love them. If you don’t know them yet then what are you waiting for, get on it now! They take the best of the Pixies, the Strokes, the heavier side of R.E.M, the retrospection of Elvis Costello and the pop-rock sensibility of Kurt Cobain and roll it into that unique Bull sound. Bull are supremely talented musicians and they owned the stage and deserved this prestigious headline slot. They are clearly on top of their game and I get the impression that they are still some way from reaching their peak. They are a band with the power to shred the shackles of King Kong. As someone once said, “this lot will just become awesomer and awesomer!” Get rid of the bullshit in your life with Bull!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me on my cheap Chinese android phone.The videos were all found on YouTube, if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know. 

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Avalanche Party – Fulford Arms, York – Thursday 5th December 2019 December 17, 2019


This gig was the 10th time that I had seen Avalanche Party. Regular readers will know I am a big fan of the band, but before I say anything about them let me tell you about the two support bands. First up was Pig Club. They are a York band and one that I had not seen or listened to until now. The first tune made me feel as though I wouldn’t enjoy the rest of their set, but oh boy how wrong was I? This lot splice classy jazz with prog, funk, and psychedelia. It is obvious that each band member is an incredibly skilled musician, but together they are definitely more than the sum of their parts. The guitarist played like a young Jan Akkerman (from Dutch Progsters Focus for you young ‘uns). Meanwhile, the keys wizard sounded at times like Herbie Hancock. Definitely a band worth checking out.

Pig Club

Another great York band, the Black Lagoons were next to grace the stage. This was the fourth time that I have seen them in nearly four years and strangely the third time that I have seen them supporting Avalanche Party. They have got better each time and they are truly a force to be reckoned when playing live. They have an electrifying swagger and confidence about them, and they totally get their audience. There are definitely prog influences, but the engine room of the band is like Moonie and the Ox from the Who. They could step up as a younger version of the Stooges too if that is what Iggy needed. Their sound is hard to pin to a genre, but imagine Tarantino and Tim Burton directing a zombie vampire film set in the wild west. Well, there is no one other than the Black Lagoons that could soundtrack that movie!

Now it was the time for the headliners, Avalanche Party as a part of their album launch tour. If you haven’t yet heard ’24 Carat Diamond Trephine’ then get on it now! It is possibly my album of the year for 2019, although Nick cave’s ‘Ghosteen’ is also vying for first place. Regular readers of this blog know that I am a big Avalanche Party fan, I also believe that they are on the cusp of greatness. With a debut album that is among the best debut’s in rock history and a live show that has the power to match that of an ICBM with a plethora of nuclear warheads, they have proved that they have balls and frankly they are the dog’s golden bollocks! Opening with the psychedelic garage punk of “I’m So Wet” the band hit their full stride straight away and when Jordan fixed his maniacal rock star thousand-yard stare on the audience, well the whole place was transfixed, captivated and hypnotised by this magnificent beast of a band. I do wonder how they keep getting better every time that I see them, but they do. Will that ever end? I hope not. They had extra guitar courtesy of the singer/ guitarist from the Black Lagoons and some wild funky sax vamping from a mysterious masked cowboy (a.k.a Luke Marzec). Kane (drums) and Joe (Bass) power a rhythm section that has the might and the firepower to defeat Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet and the melodious, punk, psych interplay between  Jared (guitar) and Glen on keys is woven magically to underpin Jordan’s subtle rock scream vocals. Jared even managed to fit in some saxophone playing too. Highlights for me were “7”, “Rebel Forever” in which I believe that every single member of the crowd sang along when asked to and the towering, majestic glam stomp of probably the best Avalanche Party song to date, “Howl” has to be experienced to be believed. On top of all that we were treated to an outstanding “Porcelain”. Get the album, go and see them, you need Avalanche Party in your life!

All the photos apart from the gig poster were taken by me.The videos were all found on YouTube, if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know. I am also happy for you to use any of my pictures, all I ask is for a credit 🙂 You will find plenty more of my pictures just below this public service announcement!

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Millie Manders and the Shutup – Fulford Arms, York – Saturday 30th November 2019 December 4, 2019


There was a lot of music going on in York on 30th November. I had whittled my way down to two choices; The Men They Couldn’t Hang at the Crescent or Millie Manders and the Shutup at the Fulford Arms. I chose the latter, as you will have guessed by the title of this post, but it was a tough choice indeed. I went for a band that I had never seen or heard before, why? Well, that is how I roll! Anyway, before the talented Ms. Manders appeared on stage we were treated to two fine support bands. First up were the Platitudes, eight-piece ska-punkers from Leeds. They are a really tightly honed band and Kristina’s vocals are not typical ska punk style, she has a great voice and a real pop sensibility. Their songs are all very good with some truly great tunes among them, notably “Man With A Plan” and “Bomb Song”. Cramming eight people onto such a tiny stage takes some doing, getting them to perform so well and for them to produce such an electric, exciting set is purely down to the band themselves. They prove the old adage that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” See the Platitudes once and I guarantee you will want to see them again, I damned well do!

The Platitudes

The second support act was Dead Beat At Dawn from Thirsk who almost defies putting them into a genre. But I would describe them as ska-punk with extra added punk, metal and rap. Yes, you heard me right, rap! Imagine the Beastie Boys reinvented as a 90s ska-punk band, then you might have a chance of understanding what Dead Beat At Dawn are. They are frenetically energetic, incredibly funny, self-deprecating and bloody talented musicians too. Their sampler let them down, but they didn’t lose anything by that, they just threw themselves into their set twice as hard. Their own songs are quite unique in a great way, especially “180 (The Theme From Dart Squad). They also performed an incredibly fun cover of Madness’ “Baggy Trousers”. This lot will make a stalwart festival band, I will certainly be seeing them again.

Dead Beat At Dawn

Millie Manders and the Shutup, just how good are they? Well, they’re not just good they are a true tower of greatness. Millie is a supremely talented frontwoman who empathises with and supports her audience. Their music has a conscience, which comes across very powerfully in “Right To Life” and “Lollipops”. The latter of which is one of the best politically angry songs to emerge in the last few years. “Teddy” is lovingly weird and perhaps scary at the same time. They showcased a few new songs, a couple of which dealt with mental health issues, something which Millie was very open about. Always remember people, sometimes it’s ok to be not ok! Millie Manders and the Shutup are a great ska-punk band, that is certainly where their music probably resides. However, in Millie they have a singer who at times sounds like Pauline Black or the ghost of Amy Winehouse. Then just when you relax into that kind of vibe she hits you with a nu-metal growl that would put some metal singers to shame. The band had us eating out of their hands as we sang along to “One That Got Away”. Their cover of the Jam’s “Pretty Green” was for me both unexpected and delicious. I should mention the individual talents of the band too, especially the drummer who plays like he is the Energiser Bunny with perpetual motion. I am without a doubt a committed fan of Millie Manders and the Shutup now. I spoke very briefly to Millie at the end when I bought the band’s three EPs on CD. People say that Dave Grohl is the nicest bloke in rock, well I reckon Millie is a contender for the nicest woman in rock! You might not know it yet, but you need this band in your life!

Millie Manders and the Shutup

All the photos apart from the gig flyer were taken on my cheap android phone. The videos were all found on YouTube if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know.

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LIFE – The Fulford Arms, York – Tuesday 29th October 2019 November 3, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 2:27 pm
Tags: , , , ,

LIFE from Hull is a band that was on the fringe of my music radar before tonight. I had heard a few of their songs and liked them but I had never seen them live, until now. Did I find them to be a good live band? You will need to read on to find out because first there was the little matter of one of York’s best current bands, Faux Pas in support.  This was the third time that I have seen them live in the last twelve months and they step it up a couple of gears every time I see them if they continue at this rate they will be huge. It was a fast-paced, blistering set that showcased the power and poise that this band has in abundance. Ru’s vocals were at peak performance and equal to Brian Molko on his best days. The guitar work from Lewis was everything from Steve Jones to Johnny Marr with the Edgell stamp across it all. Super sticksman Joey sweated an ocean as he pounded the living daylights out of his kit. “That’s My Ego” was the highlight for me, but there were so many to choose from. If I was in a band I would not want to follow Faux Pas on to the stage.

But LIFE did follow them and they were phenomenal, touring to promote their monumentally stunningly good second album ‘A Picture Of Good Health’ they owned the Fulford Arms. If they wanted to they could probably have levitated the building with the sheer volume and energy that was emanating from the stage. Vocalist Mez is a real heart on his sleeve punk showman who looks like he loves what he is doing and he totally gets his audience. The crowd was totally up for this set. It was great to hear the cheers from the crowd when Mez shouted “Fuck Boris”, Fuck The Tories” and “Fuck Trump”. Mez ventured among the crowd a lot and we lapped it up. He ended the show on someone’s shoulders for the final song, no mean feat given how low the Fulford Arms ceiling is. As with Faux Pas, there were many highlights, but standouts for me were “Half Pint Fatherhood”, “Bum Hour” and “Popular Music”. I also have a confession relating to misheard lyrics a.k.a. mondegreen; I had not listened to “It’s A Con” before the gig and I was convinced that Mez was singing “It’s A Cunt”, rather embarrassingly I was wrong, but in my head that is how I will sing it forevermore! If any of you ever doubted that punk had a future, I can tell you that it definitely does, especially in the hands of bands like LIFE. Mez, Lydia, Mick, and Stew take a bow you were possibly the best band that I have seen in 2019 and there have been some great ones. LIFE, the best band to come out of Hull since the Spiders From Mars!

All the photos were found via Google searches. The videos were all found on YouTube. If any of the pictures or videos are yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove them please let me know. 

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My Wonderful Daze “Guilty Party” EP Launch – Fulford Arms, York – Thursday 5th September 2019 September 10, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 10:59 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Tonight was the third time that I had seen My Wonderful Daze in less than three months, the first time was also at the Fulford Arms for their Hands Off Gretel support slot back in July. Tonight was a show to let the band showcase their new EP “Guilty Party”. But before I tell you about their set there is the not so small matter of the support band, Freek. I first saw them in December last year, supporting Percy. Freek‘s roots can be traced back to Led Zeppelin and onward through to the White Stripes. Lead singer Ellis Best may, on the first impression, look like a mild-mannered Librarian, but then he unleashes blues-rock licks from his guitar which have the power to cause earthquakes in heaven and hell. But that isn’t all when he opens his mouth to sing out pops a voice that could match Roger Daltrey, Ozzy Osbourne, Paul Rodgers and many more. Best is one hell of a talented rocker. Drummer Christy Bloomfield is like the perfect rock ‘n’ roll metronome (and that is meant as a compliment.) He comes across as a well-controlled sticksman and then he hits those drums with a crazy, frenzied passion and you can imagine him being possessed by the spirit of Keith Moon and the wisdom of Ginger Baker. The highlight for me, and there were many, was “I Am A Weirdo” which is as close as you can get to the perfect rock song!

Just before 9 o’clock, the crowd was palpably excited as they waited for the imminent arrival of those weird, wacky and wonderful folk from Planet Daze, yes it was time for My Wonderful Daze to hit us with their best shot. Incidentally, their best shot is like being attacked by an artillery barrage of riffs, a rhythm section that could power a whole division of tanks and all this marshalled by Field Marshall Chloe Munt a.k.a. Flowers. This is a full-on shock and awe aural assault that either wins you over or forces you to surrender. They played the five songs from their new “Guilty Party” EP first. “Tommy” starts off quite soft and builds into a crescendo of dark passion backed by a band firing on all cylinders. The five-track EP is stunning and in the live environment the already uber heavy, riff-laden, hook-driven, eldritch tunes transform into something heavier, darker and psychedelic. At times they sound like Black Sabbath had Ozzy been replaced by Chloe.

My current favorite track from the EP is “God” and live it is an epic masterpiece. The crowd was up for this band in a big way. Chloe made a number of excursions into the audience and the crowd went into manic mosh mode towards the end. My Wonderful Daze lived up to a previous description from me “Imagine what band might arise if Florence and the Machine had been kidnapped by DC’s Suicide Squad and the Joker injected them with a mix of a large dose of heavy metal and Kurt Cobain’s DNA.” But they went even further than that tonight. In the week that ‘IT – Chapter Two” hit the cinemas there were plenty of Pennywise style red balloons with added black balloons to add a streak of goth. The second half of their set saw much fake blood, well at least I hope it was fake! This was streaked across the faces of the band and Chloe sporting red hair rocked a perfect Carrie White post-Prom Queen scene in a blood dripped white dress. This was not just a gig it was a show with some really theatrical moments, not many bands can pull that off, but My Wonderful Daze can do it with style and ease. There was a technical guitar hitch near the end, but a mighty and dynamic jam session from Mr. Jack Sparkle on bass and JoshQ6 on drums and Chloe taking it upon herself to dance with members of the audience entertained us impeccably while the guitar issue was resolved. For me, the mark of a great band or at least one with the potential to become great is how they handle a mishap like that. My Wonderful Daze handled it like seasoned veterans. They finished with a rip-roaring cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” closer to the White Stripes arrangement but with the heavy and dark turned up to full! You really need to see this band, but while you are waiting check out the “Guilty Party” EP by clicking here

All the photos apart from the EP promo were taken by me. The videos were all found on YouTube, if one of them is yours and you would like a credit or for me to remove it please let me know.

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Hands Off Gretel – Fulford Arms, York – Wednesday 10th July 2019 July 18, 2019


Until now I had missed every opportunity to catch Hands Off Gretel play live, so I had high expectations of this show. Did the band meet my expectations? You’ll have to read on to find out as there were also three other bands on the bill, starting with Witch Of The East. This is the brainchild and solo project of the mightily talented Aeris Houlihan, her sound is heavier than heavy, as grungey as it can get and definitely turned up to 11. Aeris has a blonde version of Marc Bolan’s iconic early 70s hairstyle which allows me to blatantly paraphrase Mr. Bolan and say of Aeris, “She ain’t no square with her corkscrew hair”. Her guitar playing is exquisite and her vocals are really special. Her singing voice is great on the new album ‘Queen Of Insecurity’ but live it goes beyond great. On stage, Aeris was aided and abetted by a drummer that could fit with Motorhead or the Muppets, he was that good! I am not yet familiar with all of Witch Of The East‘s songs, but Aeris gave me a copy of the album so it won’t be long! (Thank you Aeris!). I believe the opening song was “Silence” and my favourite from the set was “When You Fuck Me” which for me was how I would imagine Peaches sounding if she was more metal than electro. Ms. Houlihan made a really stylish and effective crowd incursion towards the end of her set too. I am now a confirmed fan of Witch Of The East and I can hardly wait to see them live again!

Next up was My Wonderful Daze from York, their sound is deep, dark and almost menacing at times. Imagine what band might arise if Florence and the Machine had been kidnapped by DC’s Suicide Squad and the Joker injected them with a mix of a large dose of heavy metal and Kurt Cobain’s DNA. This was not just a simple rock music set it was also a real performance with the band using stage clothes, eccentric makeup and flowing movement to get their songs across. My Wonderful Daze owned the stage for the whole of their set and they captivated a largely spellbound audience. They also keep the punk ethos going by utilising some great stage names (well I am making an assumption that these aren’t their real names) like; Flowers, Eden, and Mr. Jack Sparkle.

As Sirens Fall were the only band without a female member, but they showed true solidarity with the other bands by wearing dresses, well some of the band at least. Singer Mikey Lord I believe will one day become a really iconic frontman. He is highly skilled at engaging the audience and bringing them into the fast lane currently occupied by As Sirens Fall. Mikey has something of Brian Molko about him with some Bowie thrown in for good measure, particularly his powerful on-stage presence. In their five years together the band have released two EPs, both produced by Romesh Dodangoda. Romesh has previously produced Bring Me The Horizon among many others. As Sirens Fall are heavy as hell served with a dash of goth and a shot of punk. They make My Chemical Romance look and sound like Westlife! I can state categorically that As Sirens Fall, have gone straight into my top five live bands! I came to this gig with my good friend Jari, who was here on a business trip from Finland. As Sirens Fall is his new favourite band!

Many bands reach the cusp of greatness but often never make it beyond that, never usually through things that they are able to control. I believe that Hands Off Gretel are about to take one small step for a band, but one giant leap for women in rock. This band has the passion, the skill, and the attitude to take it so much further. I am glad I got to see them at the Fulford Arms, a wonderfully intimate venue. They are surely destined to fill arenas next and who knows where after that. This show came just a few days after the singer and guitarist Lauren Tate’s open letter to the men who come to the band’s shows. It calls out all the misogynistic creeps who sexualise any female in a band or in the audience. What she says is spot on and finally, many more people are taking notice and are ready to do something about this. Ever since I went to my first gig in 1972 and my first festival in 1975 I have loved the camaraderie and care for others in most gig crowds, but sadly there are always exceptions. Lauren was right to call this out and let’s hope it flushes these arseholes out! If you haven’t read her letter yet, you really need to, click here to see it. The band showed great solidarity for this kind of movement. Lauren and Becky, the bass player sported expertly painted on facial hair. At times Becky’s rock god postures were reminiscent of Lemmy in his full-on Motorhead pomp and the added chest hair added to that picture. Guitarist Sean Bon sported a kind of scary red gimp mask, given the heat that night he must have sweated buckets! The band is currently promoting their sophomore album ‘I Want The World’ and most of that collections tracks got an airing tonight. Particular highlights for me were “S.A.S.S”, “Kiss Me Girl” and “Freaks Like Us”. Hands Off Gretel are like a well-oiled punk machine that hits you with grunge licks, heavy riffs, and classy tunes. Lauren’s vocals have been likened to Gwen Stefani before and I get that comparison, but I believe Lauren’s voice is far more at home on the harder, intense styles than Gwen’s might have been. This was a stunning, powerhouse of a performance, the venue was hotter than I had ever known it but the verve and excitement generated by this band drove the heat and energy to molten lava levels. Hands Off Gretel are a long way from their peak but their trajectory is steep and seems driven by the power of a Saturn V rocket. If you haven’t yet seen them, sort yourself out. You will not be disappointed! I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the bands in this review.

Witch Of The East – Pic was taken on my cheap Android phone

Public Service Announcement: All pictures, apart from the gig poster and the pic of Witch Of The East were taken by John Hayhurst of Snapagig (a.k.a this generations Mick Rock)! All videos were sourced from YouTube. If the video is yours and you would like me to credit you or take it down please let me know.

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“Saturday” – The Receivers March 15, 2019

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 11:13 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

STOP PRESS – UPDATE – the excellent video for “Saturday” is now below and click here to find this future classic on Spotify!

I have received a very tasty sneak preview of “Saturday” the new single from one of York’s finest bands the Receivers. It will be available on streaming sites from Friday 22nd March. I urge you to check it out when it is released. It is a punchy, exciting track with a harder edged indie sound and a feel of classic late 70s post punk like maybe the Motors. The soaring vocals on the chorus slide into your brain like a fish-hook after a couple of listens and believe me this is one metaphorical fish that is not going to be thrown back into the river. The musicianship is first class especially the distinctive guitar melodies, shapes and jangly riffs.In a perfect world this song would be all over the airwaves, but this is not a perfect world, but if any radio stations want to prove me wrong on that score then go ahead. Nick, Alex, Harry and Louis (a.k.a. The Receivers) are a tight band that are clearly passionate about what they do and I can see this release really helping to put them even more firmly on the map. I had the pleasure of seeing these boys live at the Fulford Arms back in January, click here to read that review. The single release will be supported by a short spring tour, get yourself a ticket now, that is an ORDER!

While you are waiting click here to check out some of their other great stuff on Spotify.

STOP PRESS – UPDATE – the excellent video for “Saturday” is now below and click here to find this future classic on Spotify!

 

 

 
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